Boost Your Teams Morale

Boost Your Team's Morale: 20 Engaging Virtual Water Cooler Ideas for Remote Workers

By Rad Aswani

Do you want to invigorate your remote team’s daily routine with virtual water cooler ideas that really work? In this article, we cut straight to the chase with dynamic activities and conversation starters designed to cultivate a vibrant virtual community. From virtual happy hours to asynchronous chat challenges, get ready to recreate that office buzz in a digital workspace.

Key takeaways

  • Virtual water coolers mimic informal office spaces online, encouraging casual interactions and connectivity among remote employees to foster a sense of community and boost productivity.
  • Engaging activities ranging from virtual escape rooms, interactive games, and social clubs to VR experiences are central to creating dynamic and inclusive virtual water cooler environments that nurture creativity and team bonding.
  • Daily prompts and asynchronous communication tools are vital in maintaining a steady flow of conversation and camaraderie among remote teams across various time zones, contributing to sustained morale and engagement.

Unlocking casual connections: the rise of virtual water coolers

Unlocking Casual Connections

A virtual water cooler:

  • Mirrors the informal gathering areas within physical office workspaces
  • Blends professional and leisurely conversations in an online environment
  • Encourages casual interactions
  • Effectively bridges the gap left by traditional office environments
  • Ensures remote team members feel a sense of connection and camaraderie within the company

Casual interactions facilitated by virtual water coolers provide much-needed breaks for remote workers, helping to stimulate new ideas, increase focus, manage fatigue, and ultimately foster productivity. The beauty of virtual water coolers lies in their inclusivity, symbolizing an open break time for all employees, including interns and temporary staff. With asynchronous functionality, team members can contribute without being online simultaneously, making casual participation flexible and organic.

Creative sparks: innovative virtual water cooler activities

Creative Sparks

Innovative activities within virtual water coolers are crucial in captivating remote employees and igniting creativity. Some examples of these activities include:

  • Virtual escape rooms
  • Hackathons
  • Artistic contests
  • Shared experiences like movie nights

These activities transcend the barriers of remote work, nurturing a sense of camaraderie and team bonding.

These initiatives enhance the virtual water cooler experience, foster a vibrant atmosphere, and create a relaxed environment for idea sharing.

Interactive games to ignite laughter

Interactive games such as Virtual Cluedo, scavenger hunts, and trivia are excellent catalysts for laughter and team bonding during video calls. Games such as these emphasize teamwork and collaborative problem-solving, creating an interactive and engaging atmosphere.

Activities like jigsaw puzzles or the ‘15 Questions’ guessing game can add an element of casual and quick entertainment to video calls, sparking friendly competition and laughter.

Coffee break brainstorms

Brainstorm sessions during coffee breaks uniquely stimulate spontaneous conversations and idea sharing among remote teams. These sessions can be an opportune moment for employees to engage in lighthearted debates on non-controversial topics or indulge in friendly discussions.

Activities like ‘Coffee Break Show and Tell’ and ‘Coffee Break Workshops’ allow employees to showcase a personal item and share its story, or learn about a colleague’s non-work-related skill or hobby, fostering a collaborative atmosphere.

Virtual happy hour themes

Virtual happy hour themes encompass a variety of activities that foster engagement and camaraderie among team members. Some popular virtual happy hour themes include:

  • Virtual scavenger hunts
  • GIF games
  • DIY cocktail challenges
  • Trivia nights
  • Costume parties
  • Talent shows

These themes add a fun and interactive element to the virtual water cooler experience. These activities not only break the monotony of work but also encourage team members to show their creative side and build stronger bonds.

Cultivating community: social clubs in virtual spaces

Cultivating Community

Virtual social clubs significantly foster a sense of community among remote teams. These clubs allow employees from different departments to establish social connections and friendships outside of work-related activities, catering to diverse interests ranging from books to movies and even a Netflix club.

Engaging in conversations about personal interests in these virtual clubs helps to build a cross-team culture and provides an informal setting for employees to share recommendations.

Book lovers' exchange

A virtual book club offers the perfect avenue for book lovers to bond over literature. These clubs provide a quieter, more introspective team-building activity, fostering a sense of unity and shared interest among remote teams who share a love for literature.

A ‘Coffee Break Book Club’ can be organized within the virtual book club, wherein members discuss a book they are reading or exchange book recommendations, further bolstering the sense of community.

Fitness buddies network

Fitness buddies network, facilitated through virtual team fitness classes and health challenges, promotes physical and mental well-being among remote teams. Activities such as:

  • yoga
  • strength training
  • HIIT
  • barre
  • Pilates
  • dance cardio

are accessible to employees of different fitness levels, fostering a culture of health and wellness.

These fitness classes conducted on platforms like Zoom provide clear instructions and encouragement throughout the session, keeping team members motivated.

Artistic minds gallery

The virtual space also caters to artistic minds, offering them a platform to showcase their creativity. From virtual art shows to collaborative projects and show-and-tell sessions, these initiatives offer an opportunity for team members to express their creativity and artistic skills in a communal setting.

These platforms not only provide a creative outlet but also foster deeper connections and understanding among coworkers.

Fostering personal connections: get-to-know-you initiatives

Fostering Personal Connections

Cultivating personal connections within remote teams is essential for boosting morale and productivity. Get-to-know-you initiatives like bucket list sharing, photo sharing, and pet parade video calls can help team members to learn more about each other’s personal lives and interests, fostering personal connections and deeper understanding among coworkers.

Bucket list sharing session

Bucket list sharing sessions are a fantastic way for team members to discuss and support each other’s personal and professional goals. A virtual Bucket List Sharing Session allows remote team members to share their personal aspirations and goals, with each member explaining 5 or 10 achievements they wish to accomplish in the near future.

These sessions can be an engaging lunchtime activity where team members offer advice and encouragement to each other while discussing life goals.

Life's snapshots: photo sharing

Photo sharing activities help remote teams bond over personal interests and experiences. Remote teams can enhance daily bonding by sharing personal photos and interests on platforms such as Slack, including images of their home offices, pets, or items that reveal more about their personalities.

These photos can range from significant life moments to everyday scenes, highlighting the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the team.

Pet parade video calls

Pet parade video calls introduce a sense of shared joy and affection within the team. These video call sessions involve team members showing off their pets during a video conference, creating a sense of shared joy and affection within the team.

Utilizing screen sharing features on platforms like Zoom, team members can showcase their pets live or through prepared slides, which can include fun facts or anecdotes about their pets to engage the team.

Bridging time zones: asynchronous water cooler chats

Bridging Time Zones

Asynchronous water cooler chats have several benefits for remote teams, including:

  • Bridging time zones, enabling flexible contribution times and distinct boundaries between work and personal time
  • Allowing team members to participate in conversations even if they are in different time zones
  • Facilitating communication and collaboration among remote team members
  • Using features like pinning important messages to ensure important information is easily accessible

Team chat apps with these features can help facilitate asynchronous water cooler chats and improve communication within remote teams.

Message board mayhem

Message board mayhem on platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams offers opportunities for idea exchange and office news sharing. These platforms serve as a hub for sharing office news, helping keep team members updated and promoting interdepartmental communication.

Enhancing these platforms with Slack apps, special interest channels, and interactive games makes for a more engaging and fun environment, allowing team members to connect over non-work related topics.

Weekly highlights reel

Weekly highlights reels foster a sense of achievement and shared experience among team members. A collection of great team moments, stories, and successes from the week should be compiled for the highlights reel.

The highlights reel is shared via company communication channels such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, allowing all members to view it at their convenience.

Virtual bulletin board

Virtual bulletin boards serve as an effective tool for sharing announcements, celebrating milestones, and fostering a sense of community. A virtual bulletin board can be created using an organization’s intranet site or interactive programs like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or TinyPulse, serving as an effective tool for remote teams to share announcements, celebrate milestones, and foster a sense of community.

The content on these boards can include a ‘Cheers for Peers’ or ‘Wall of Fame’ channel, celebrating notable work anniversaries, weekly customer service awards, promotions, team achievements, and personal highlights, alongside interactive elements such as gratitude walls, virtual Post-it notes, shout-outs, and stickers.

The virtual reality breakroom: next-level team building

The introduction of virtual reality (VR) has elevated team building experiences. The virtual reality breakroom offers an immersive and engaging space where users can meet up in digital rooms with avatars of friends or team members.

This technology-enhanced environment enhances daily interactions with a mix of work-related and leisurely conversation, taking the concept of virtual water coolers to a new dimension, fostering virtual water cooler conversation and creating virtual water cooler moments, all while promoting water cooler chat.

VR team adventures

VR team adventures offer a unique platform for team building. These adventures can include activities that involve collaboration and communication, such as ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ a VR game that challenges teams to describe images using only geometric shapes, fostering teamwork and communication skills.

Games like ‘Space Team VR’ simulate a cooperative space environment where players must work as a team to fix their ship and avoid hazards, emphasizing the importance of strong communication within the team.

Relaxation rooms

Relaxation rooms in virtual reality provide remote workers with a calming environment to reduce anxiety and stress. Virtual reality relaxation experiences via Guided VR can help reduce anxiety, discomfort, blood pressure, and heart rate for remote workers by providing a mini-vacation without leaving their workspace.

These virtual simulations of quiet rooms and meditation spaces extend traditional wellness practices into the remote work environment, promoting a culture of well-being.

Collaborative workspaces with Kumospace

Virtual collaborative workspaces like Kumospace offer spatial audio, interactive objects, and avatar-based interactions to create realistic and engaging experiences for remote teams. These spaces simulate experiences such as working together in a coworking space or joining virtual pub crawls to create a sense of co-presence and shared social experiences among remote employees.

Platforms like Google Sheets can be used for collaborative activities such as Spreadsheet Wars, fostering improved communication skills through initiatives like Storytelling Workshops and Typing Speed Races.

Keeping the conversation flowing: daily water cooler prompts

Maintaining a steady conversation flow in a virtual water cooler is crucial for sustaining team morale and engagement. Daily water cooler prompts can include:

  • Fun question games
  • Trivia
  • Amusing stories
  • Pictures

These prompts inspire team members to engage and contribute to virtual water cooler chats.

These prompts, from tools like, trigger exchanges and casual conversations, fostering a vibrant virtual water cooler environment.

Meme of the day

A ‘Meme of the Day’ can serve as a daily prompt where team members contribute and share humorous content. This light-hearted activity significantly enhances team bonding through laughter and discussion.

Creative meme prompts like ‘The worst GIF to send to your dad’ or ‘Playing hooky from work,’ to which members can respond with the most humorous or relatable content, add a fun element to daily interactions.

Question roulette

‘Question Roulette’ involves asking a random question each day to invite personal insights, stories, and discussions that enrich team relationships. Games such as:

  • ‘Would You Rather’
  • ‘This or That?’
  • ‘15 Questions’
  • ‘Twenty Questions’
  • ‘Never Have I Ever’

are perfect for sparking conversations, encouraging team members to share personal choices and experiences.

By engaging in ‘Question Roulette’, team members learn about each other’s preferences and life experiences, contributing to a stronger and more connected team.


In the era of remote work, virtual water coolers have emerged as a vital tool for maintaining team morale and fostering a sense of community. Whether it’s through games, shared activities, social clubs, or get-to-know-you initiatives, virtual water coolers facilitate casual conversations, spark creativity, and reinforce company culture. By bridging time zones through asynchronous chats, utilizing virtual reality for team building, and providing daily prompts to keep the conversation flowing, these virtual spaces ensure that remote teams stay connected and engaged.

Frequently asked questions

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Headshot for Rad Aswani
Rad Aswani

Rad has over 7 years of experience in Marketing. Currently, she is the fun Digital Marketer at Kumospace. She leads initiatives such as influencer marketing, SEO management, and social media to name a few. Outside of work, Rad enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with her family and friends.

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